What is Butterfly Disease, What are the Symptoms and How is it Treated?

What are the symptoms of butterfly disease and how is it treated?
What are the symptoms of butterfly disease and how is it treated?

21-year-old National Taekwondo player Gamze Özdemir died of butterfly disease. Butterfly disease (Lupus) is called butterfly disease because it causes a red rash on the face. So what are the causes of Butterfly disease? What are the symptoms of butterfly disease? How is butterfly disease diagnosed? How is butterfly disease treated

Butterfly disease (Lupus), or literally Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, is a rheumatic disease that involves many organs in the body. It is popularly known as butterfly disease as it is characterized by a butterfly-like red rash on the face. Lupus disease is one of the diseases called autoimmune. In autoimmune diseases, the patient's immune system malfunctions and perceives the person's own cells as foreign matter. In lupus disease, the immune system attacks the substance called "collagen", which is an important building block in the body.

Butterfly Disease (Lupus) Causes

The cause of the disease is not known precisely. Genetics, environmental factors and hormones play a role in the development of the disease. It is known that stress, ultraviolet rays, infections and some medications trigger the disease. One of the female hormones, estrogen increases the occurrence of the disease and testosterone decreases. In SLE, the body's immune system reacts against its own tissues.

Symptoms of Butterfly Disease (Lupus)

Lupus diseaseSince it can affect the whole body, it may present with very different signs and symptoms. Joint pain and general illness symptoms are common, especially in the initial stages of the disease. Some of the most common signs and symptoms in lupus disease;

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Skin changes. The butterfly-shaped rash, especially on the nose and cheeks, is typical. However, a rash develops in all areas of the skin exposed to the sun.
  • Findings related to inflammation in the veins. Small vessels of the skin are often affected and inflammation called vasculitis develops. There is a spot-like subcutaneous bleeding around the nails. It can also cause inflammation in the oral mucosa.
  • Findings related to hair. There may be regional shedding in the hair and generally, new hairs are not replaced.
  • Raynaud's syndrome, in which there is a white and purple discoloration of the fingertips that occurs in cold, is an important finding.
  • Joint findings. There is arthralgia, or joint pain, in both large and small joints. The pain is more pronounced especially in the morning. Some patients also experience swelling, flushing and warmth due to arthritis, or joint inflammation.
  • Muscle involvement. Pain and inflammation develop in the muscles.
  • Kidney manifestations. Kidney involvement is seen in 70% of patients. Blood and protein are detected in the urine of these people. Edema develops due to fluid retention in tissues. In severe cases, kidney inflammation that can lead to kidney failure can be seen.
  • There are symptoms and psychological problems related to the nervous system such as migraine, epilepsy, balance problems. Some patients may experience a stroke.
  • Digestive problems are common due to digestive system involvement and pancreatitis.
  • There are signs of inflammation in the lung or pericardium such as chest pain. A chest pain that increases with breathing occurs when there is fluid accumulation and inflammation between the lung membranes. Pericarditis is called pericarditis and is common in lupus.
  • Pneumonia develops as a result of inflammation in the lung tissue.
  • Lymph nodes, spleen, and liver are enlarged.
  • Since the peritoneum called the peritoneum becomes inflamed, abdominal pain is observed.

Butterfly Disease (Lupus) Diagnosis

Butterfly disease (lupus) diagnosis It is established with the help of some blood tests along with clinical symptoms. Complete blood count, kidney tests, chest radiography, LE cell, anti DNA and ANA are checked for the patients. If the physician deems it necessary and depending on the organ involvement suspected, many more tests may be ordered.

Do not show typical signs of illness at the beginning

It is very difficult to diagnose in new patients. SLE can be confused with many tissue diseases.

Treatment of Butterfly Disease (Lupus)

Lupus disease There is no definitive treatment. Treatment is applied to stop the progression of the disease, prevent vital complications, and relieve symptoms. Therefore, early diagnosis is of great importance. Because it is not possible to reverse the advanced disease.

Treatment is planned specifically for each patient according to the severity of the disease. It is essential to use anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammations that occur in many organs and tissues of the body. Steroid drugs that suppress the immune system are also used. Blood thinning agents such as aspirin are prescribed for patients with a tendency to blood clots.

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